Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Strange Fire Hub-bub

Dave Miller and many others have been blogging about the recent Conference at Grace Community in LA where John MacArthur pastors. Some say His 'thugs', the Pyromaniacs, have been doing the heavy lifting for him and that his broad brush approach to Charismaticism has damaged the unity of the body. They are tired of these "bashing" conferences. And any conference they are suspect of is a "bashing" conference.

What about the damage of the charismatic movement? I don't have to agree with everything that was said at the conference, nor do I have to believe every so-called quote that someone says MacArthur et.al. said.
I don't care to accuse or criticize, defend or attack until and unless I see something that is clearly damaging and see it in it's context. MacArthur doesn't need my help, nor do those who accuse without all the facts.

I know that MacArthur invited Charismatics, some are in agreement that certain aspects and leaders within the movement are heretical and dangerous. I wish they'd spoken up. Maybe some did and I didn't hear about it.

But let me say something about MacArthur's so-called "broad brushing" and "bashing". Its not just the Benny Hinns and the Copelands, the Rodney Howard Browns and the vineyards etc. that are a problem.  There are in fact many Charismatics who don't follow after those types.
I know this because I WAS a Charismatic. I graduated from a Charismatic Bible College. I know what is taught in many Charismatic circles. I have friends who still are Charismatic.
But "many" of those who reject the Charismatic extremists still open the door to rate experientia above the Word of God. They defend the teachings of Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, who are both so unbiblical at times it's amazing. They often encourage "words of knowledge" with: A) No Idea whatsoever whether God has truly said it and B) No Biblical Basis for supporting the idea that the "sure Word" (2Pe1:19) we have from God is open to modifications and additions by modern day prophets.

There have been Baptists who have taught these dangerous doctrines that people can get these 'leadings from God' and go do some of the most assinine things, and fall back on the old slogan: "God told me to." To which I always want to reply, "OK, show me the chapter and verse."
"Oh He didn't show in the Bible, He spoke to my Spirit."
"OK, show me the chapter and verse where it says He will do that!"
I know that Rom 8:16 says the Spirit will bear witness with our spirits that we are His children, but it doesn't say His Spirit speaks to ours about what we are supposed to do today.
And that doesn't mean that God doesn't guide our steps, or that God doesn't give us opportunities to be witnesses for him, or to help the widow and fatherless, or to pray for someone who comes to mind. YES, certainly. But I would be so careful to NOT attribute to God words that HE may never have said. That is blasphemy.  And yet all too common in Charismatic, Baptist, Methodist, and maybe even (really? could it be?) Presbyterian circles!

The Spirit speaking to the churches during the 1st Century, Apostolic, times is very prevalent in the New Testament. But even during that time, before the Apostles died out, there is a verse that I think should be an example to all of us.

Act 15:25  it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul...
"It Seemed Good." What a wonderfully liberating way of saying why we do what we do as believers.
It seemed good to John MacArthur to held a conference warning people of the unbiblical excesses of the Charismatic movement.
It "seemed Good" to Ed Stetzer to write another missional comeback church planting book with lots of charts and statistics.
Attack Cat
It "Seemed Good" for me to write this blog.
You know what? The Proof is in the pudding. We'll see A) if it was good or not, and B) we'll analyze the things that were actually said, in their various contexts, and hold people accountable for saying things untruthful or unloving. (Just remember, the person who is trying to hurt someone else will say you're unloving if you call them on it.)

So, all of you who feel free to 'go after' the people whom you disagree, who are going after MacArthur and company, get all your ducks in a row, verify the quotes that bother you, and then if it "seems good to you" go after John MacArthur.

Then it will be someone else's turn, to go after you.

One last comment. There are many Charismatics or Charismatic defenders whom I admire and appreciate. I'm sure they have many of the same concerns that MacArthur has expressed. Chuck Smith was one of them. And the Matt Chandlers and John Pipers have good reputations and good track records for Godly preaching and ministry, just as John MacArthur does. Maybe we should stop and ponder what they all have to say, and what they all bring to the discussion. We might reject some of it. I've become a cessationist, but I'll listen to a continuationist if he is attempting to make a valid biblical point. But I am quite sure MacArthur has listened to many of these comments and it seemed good to him to warn people of the dangers of what is held dear in much, maybe most, of the charismatic movement.
And I'm glad he did.

1 comment:

  1. good thoughts! McArthur may not be taking the right approach--but some approach similar to it is needed due to the dangers out there


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